Saving Money

How Much Can You Save Buying Store Brand vs Brand Name Products?

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I’m a fan of store brand products, because I know that many times it’s the exact same product as the popular brand name products, just with a different label. I saw it first hand when I worked at a cheese manufacturing plant in college. One minute the product being processed used a nationally recognized brand name product label, the next minute the exact same product was being packaged with a store brand label. Other times the product is different, but is of comparable quality with a much lower price tag. While there are some store brand products I consistently buy to save money, I often wonder just how much money a person would save if they choose ALL store brand products.

I did a little experiment when I went grocery shopping this weekend. For each product I purchased where both a name brand and generic product were available, I recorded both prices. I then created two separate totals; one calculating how much my trip to the grocery store would cost if I had purchased all name brand items (when possible), and the other totaling my bill if I had purchased all store brand items.  The below is my actual shopping list from the weekend. Take a look at the two lists below, items in blue are the items that had both a name brand and store brand available.

Brand Name Product Total

  • Cat Food: $4.88
  • Cat Litter: $7.88
  • Ball Park Buns: $2.28
  • Sara Lee White Bread: $2.48
  • Village Hearth Wheat Bread: $3.18
  • Apples: $3.33
  • Bananas: $1.37
  • Coca Cola (12 Pack): $4.44
  • Nacho Cheese Doritos: $2.50
  • Lays Potato Chip: $2.50
  • Wheat Thins: $2.56
  • Tombstone Pepperoni Pizza: $3.50
  • Totinos Cheese Pizza :$1.36
  • Heinz Ketchup: $2.98
  • Country Time Lemonade Powder Mix: $2.50
  • Starkist Tuna: $0.94
  • Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter: $2.58
  • Sargento Shredded Cheddar Cheese :$2.74
  • Eggs: $0.97
  • Simply Orange Juice: $3.87
  • Kemps 2% ½ gallon Milk :$2.26
  • Hormel Black Label Bacon: $4.98
  • Creamette Pasta: $1.28
  • Prego Spaghetti Sauce: $1.98
  • Charmin Extra Strong Toilet Paper : $6.97
  • Bounty 2 Pack Paper Towels: $4.97
  • Kotex Feminine Product: $5.47

Total: $86.75

Store Brand Total

  • Cat Food: $4.88
  • Cat Litter: $7.88
  • Great Value Buns: $1.38
  • Great Value White Bread: $1.08
  • Great Value Wheat Bread: $1.82
  • Apples: $3.33
  • Bananas: $1.37
  • Sam’s Choice Cola (12 pack): $2.68
  • Great Value Nacho Cheese Chips: $1.98
  • Great Value Potato Chips: $1.84
  • Great Value Wheat Think Snack Crackers: $1.78
  • Tombstone Pepperoni Pizza: $3.50
  • Totinos Cheese Pizza :$1.36
  • Great Value Ketchup: $1.92
  • Country Time Lemonade Powder Mix: $2.50
  • Great Value Tuna: $0.68
  • Great Value Creamy Peanut Butter: $2.18
  • Great Value Shredded Cheddar Cheese: $2.22
  • Eggs: $0.97
  • Great Value Orange Juice: $2.18
  • Great Value 2% ½ gallon Milk: $1.35
  • Great Value Bacon: $3.94
  • Great Value Spaghetti: $1.00
  • Great Value Spaghetti Sauce: $1.50
  • Great Value Strong Toilet Paper: $6.23
  • Great Value 2 Pack Paper Towels : $3.64
  • Equate Feminine Product : $4.34

Total: $69.53

I was able to substitute 19 of 27 items on my list with store brand products, and saved $17.22, or about 20%.

Whether all of these products are comparable in quality with their name brand counterpart is a subjective opinion. Also, my 20% savings is admittedly single sample size in a complex equation. Keeping those two points in mind, this exercise gives us a rough estimate as to just how much buying store brand products can save consumers. If you’re looking to cut your grocery and household goods spending, trying more store brand products is worth a look!

Have you ever done an exercise to figure out how much you could save by buying store brand products? Do you buy store brand products?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

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Brock Kernin

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